The Best Full Face Helmets for 2021

We’d Know: We’ve Hands-On Tested 400+ Helmets Since 2000

 

Entry-Level

Priced under $300, these helmets are ideal for new riders or value-conscious shoppers.

See: Entry Level Helmets

Mid-Range

Priced $300-$500, these helmets are feature rich and offer excellent protection.

See: Mid-Range Helmets

High-End

Priced $500 and up. Simply the best of what is available in the full face segment.

See: High-End Helmetsl

 

A note about our recommendations:

There’s a lot of fake “review sites” online today. We get it. We aren’t one of them. Founded in 2000, the team at wBW has extensively tested more than 2,500 pieces of gear. Helmets, jackets, boots, gloves, accessories, and more. We extensively and exhaustively test gear. We do not fluff reviews. Read our review policies.

 


 

Priced under $300

Best Entry Level Full Face Helmets

Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS

Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS

Price: $279

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

While the Qualifier DLX has been a favorite of the entry-level market for years, Bell has improved it for 2021 with the addition of a Multi-dimensional Impact Protection System, or MIPS. This safety feature allows for rotational energy from impacts to be displaced away from the neck and head of the rider, decreasing injury rates. When you add a safety feature that originated in MotoGP to an already best-selling entry-level helmet, you have a sure-fire winner of a helmet!

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.57lbs
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

While we haven’t actually tested the Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS, we have had the opportunity in previous years to review the Qualifier DLX without the MIPS added in. Read the full review here.

 

HJC i10

HJC i10

Price: $159

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

This sub-$200 helmet may look unassuming, but don’t let that fool you. Using all the data and design learned from making full-on MotoGP and WSBK helmets, HJC has tossed what isn’t necessary, and made a value helmet that matches the safety ratings of multiple $500+ helmets. In fact, this helmet has so much boiled down racing technology applied to it that it is both DOT and SNELL M2020 certified, meaning it is approved for track use in the USA.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: Intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.88 lbs
  • DOT & SNELL M2020 certified

Our In-Depth Review

While we don’t have a full review done quite yet, watch this space as we are sure to give the helmet one of our trademark 100% honest, real-world-use reviews this summer!

 

Icon Airflite

Icon Airflite

Price: $250

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

This lid is an excellent affordable helmet with numerous features, a comfortable fit, and a very reasonable price. The helmet features a very large and oddly shaped face shield that you can get in a variety of colors.

The Airflite also gets a polycarbonate shell that comes in three different sizes, large air vents, a fog-free inner sun visor, removable side plates, a molded breath deflector, chin curtain, and a Hydradry moisture-wicking liner that’s removable and washable.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.74 lbs
  • DOT certified

In-Depth Review

Kathy was able to review this helmet and she came away impressed with the lid. It’s a lid that kind of defies expectation. It also doesn’t fit into a specific style of riding easily. Kathy found it to be comfortable and high-quality. However, she did note that the lid is a little heavier than some other options out there and the chin bar is just a little bigger overall than the other lids out there. Otherwise, if you like to look, this is a fantastic choice.


 

Priced $300 – $500

Best Mid-Range Full Face Helmets

AGV K6

Price: $449.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

I decided to drop the Schuberth R2 from this list due to limited availability and replace it with a much better overall helmet anyway. The AGV K6 is a force to be reckoned with, and I’ll explain why.

Have a carbon fiber helmet option in the sub $500 price range is one thing, but having a full face DOT and ECE approved helmet come in under 3 pounds is just insane. This helmet, despite its wickedly rigid construction, manages to tip the scales at a meager 2.95 lb. That’s lighter than some of the best open-faced helmets available.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.69 lbs
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

Coming Q2 2021!

 

HJC RPHA70

HJC RPHA70

Price: $375

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The RPHA70 is HJC’s latest offering in the mid-range segment and it definitely punches above its weight (and price). It brings a lot of value, with an included anti-fog insert, an integrated sunshade, and excellent ventilation. It’s hard to beat a combination like that.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.4lbs
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

Made in Korea, this HJC was reviewed hands-on by Brandon back in January of 2018. He loved how smooth the visor controls were and how freely it flowed air. Fit and finish was also impressive, though he noted that he wished accessing the lower vent was less of a hassle. Read the full review.

 

Shoei RF-SR

Price: $419

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The RF-SR was made with quiet and comfortable riding in mind. Just look at the shell design; sleek and line-free for aerodynamic greatness developed through tons of wind-tunnel testing.

This is the cheapest price point you will ever find a Shoei helmet at, and despite being a cheaper alternative to the RF-1200, you won’t be missing out on much. It’s quiet, safe, and even features replaceable cheek pads so you can get the perfect fit for you.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.66 lbs
  • DOT and SNELL M2015 certified

Our In-Depth Review

Rick gave one of the deepest reviews we’ve ever seen posted to the WBW blog regarding the Shoei RF-SR. He said, “The Shoei RF-SR is an excellent introduction to the Shoei family. It has just about everything you need and nothing you don’t, making it difficult to pay more and get, well, just a little more.” Read the full review here.

 


 

Priced $500+

Best High-End Full Face Helmets

Shoei GT-Air II

Shoei GT-Air II

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Price: $599

Why?

Considered by many to be the “ultimate” all-arounder, the GT-Air II is an extremely aerodynamic helmet affords wearers excellent airflow and road-noise management. As we have come to expect from Shoei, the quality of build is second-to-none. This is the high-end helmet to buy.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.8lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

The GT Air II is the ideal sequel to the renowned GT Air, and when paired with the SENA SRL2, the GT Air II becomes a capable and connected helmet. The GT Air II is quiet and feature-rich, proving once again that Shoei makes some of the best helmets in the business. Read the complete Shoei GT Air II review.

Shoei RF1400

Shoei RF1400

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Price: $529

Why?

After 8 years of dominance, the venerable RF1200 has finally been discontinued. However, its replacement, the RF1400, evolves the helmet into an absolute weapon for both the track and the street. Improved padding and liner, a new form of weaving the glass fibers and organic fibers for the shell to make it the lightest yet most elastic shell Shoei has ever made, and an entirely new visor baseplate system that allows for 10-second visor replacements when needed. There was a reason that the RF1200 reigned supreme all those years, and we can see the RF1400 stepping up to that same throne.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.62 lbs
  • DOT and SNELL M2020 certified

Our In-Depth Review

Jim was able to spend quite some time on the road wearing one of the first RF1400’s sent out to reviewers in December of 2020. He raved about the field of vision, the quality of the ventilation, and the fact that the noise isolation in the helmet is superior to pretty much anything out there. Read the full review here!

Arai Signet-X

Arai Signet-X

Price: $699

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

If you’ve got a narrow (long oval) head shape, this is the helmet to wear. It has the signature Arai fit as well as the handmade quality that can only come from something artisan-made. Exceptional heat management comes standard, as does a clear Pinlock insert for fog control. A slightly modified version was released in mid-2020, which included a new fiberglass weave as well as passing the new SNELL M2020 certification tests

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: long oval
  • Weight: 3.53 lbs
  • DOT & SNELL M2020 certified

Our In-Depth Review

The Arai Signet-X is the answer for riders with “Narrow” head shapes and it brings all of the new Arai “X” features to their “Long Oval” head shape helmet, completing the triumvirate. Read the full 3,000+ word review.

 

 

Arai Regent-X

Arai Regent-X

Price: $559.95

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

The helmet features a PB-cLc shell that comes in four sizes. The shell’s shape is rounded—an Arai trick that’s designed to allow things to glance off the helmet. The lid also gets multi-layer EPS, good ventilation, an anti-microbial liner that is removable and washable, Snell certification, and a wider opening to make the helmet a little easier to get on and take off (a big complaint of other Arai lids from some folks).

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.41lbs
  • DOT & SNELL M2020 certified

Our In-Depth Review

Coming Q2 2021!

Criteria & Methodology

How We Determine "The Best"

At wBW, “Best” Actually Means Something

Remember when you could open up a review of something, and when the publication – magazine, car show, whatever – said “best” they stood behind it? Yea, we remember, and we’re bringing it back.

Here’s how we do things:

  • We disclose our affiliate relationships – We make money via advertising and affiliate relationships on our website. It’s how we pay our team and invest in things like sending Jim to Italy. And Japan. And France… wait… why do we always send Jim places?
  • We obsessively hands-on test – We wear and ride with gear before reviewing it, and we update reviews down the line if our opinions change. We look at real-world situations because that’s the world we live in.
  • We’re objective – Good gear is good gear, regardless of who made it.
  • We’re value-focused – Why pay $500 if something for $250 is just as good? Our review scores and recommendations reflect best value. Brand only goes so far – the gear has to stand on its own.

Hands-on reviews of 2021’s best riding gear. More than 2,500 hands-on reviews since 1999!

Mini-Buyers Guide

What to Look for in a Full Face Helmet

Like all helmets, full face helmets come with a list of items to pay particular attention to. More complex than every other type of helmet, knowing what to look for can be the difference between an awesome experience and a terrible one.

Look for:

  • DOT/ECE certifications – Many inexpensive modular helmets showing up on Amazon and eBay are not DOT or ECE certified. This certification may save your life. Don’t cheap out- remember, you’re preparing for the slide, not the ride.
  • Comfort – Modulars are generally heavier than other types of helmets. Most of the helmets featured on this page use lightweight materials to minimize neck strain- useful, especially on long rides.
  • Head shape – While most people are an intermediate oval, not all are. Make sure you get a helmet designed for your head shape.
  • Shell material – Polycarbonate is okay, but you’d be better served with carbon fiber (expensive) or fiberglass. All the helmets called out here (save for one) are fiberglass.
  • Interior liner – All the helmets featured here offer removable liners that are anti-moisture and anti-bacterial. Avoid non-removable liners (found in cheap helmets)- it’ll be a stink factory before you know it.

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